I live in New York City, which is currently experiencing a brutal heat wave, with temperatures approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius). Large swaths of the United States have also been trying to cope with scorching temperatures this past week.

Elsewhere in the world, abnormally high temperatures were blamed this week for the deaths of more than 550 people in Saudi Arabia during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Over the past few months, blistering heat is said to have been responsible for deaths in places as disparate as Mexico, Greece, India and Mali. Global temperatures have been the highest since modern record-keeping began, putting 2024 on course to be the hottest year in recorded history.